The car still remains a staple of transportation in America, with 83 percent of US adults stating they drive frequently. It’s no wonder that car ownership in America is one of the highest in the world.
This year, more cars are expected to enter the American highways. Experts estimate that there will be 289.5 million vehicles by the end of 2021, up from 284.5 million in 2020.
If you’re among the people planning to purchase a car this year, there are a few vehicle shopping mistakes you want to steer clear of to get the biggest bang for your buck.
In today’s post, we outline the six biggest errors first-time car buyers make and how to avoid them. Read on to learn more.
1. Failure to Research Cars and Prices
One of the costliest mistakes you can make when buying your first car is to rush your purchasing decision. As you’re going to find out, there are many types of vehicles from which to choose. Don’t purchase the very first car you come across.
Take your time to determine which type of car will suit your needs best. Find out what you can about vehicles in your chosen category.
For instance, if you’re looking for vehicles for families, which model and trim are most suitable for you? Research on the gas mileage and reliability of each of the cars you’re considering, as well as equipment and depreciation.
Take the time to read up on prices as well. Try comparing vehicle prices from at least three different dealers to prevent being overcharged. Being knowledgeable puts you at an advantage when bargaining for your car of choice.
2. Falling in Love With a Particular Vehicle
The biggest problem with getting smitten by a specific vehicle is that it makes you tunnel your vision to other car options that may suit you better. Once your heart is set on a particular car, you may overlook an alternative that might drive better or be more economical.
Besides, car salespeople catch on quickly that you’ve fallen in love with a certain car and will be less flexible on its price. They know that you’ll pay for the car anyway, as long as you’ve set your heart on it.
Avoid revealing your enthusiasm about a particular car when talking to car dealers. Simply let them know you’re interested in purchasing the vehicle if they can give you a good price for it. If they can’t price it at your budget, tell them you’re happy to consider other options.
3. Failing to Take a Test Drive
The test drive is an essential part of the car purchasing process, and you should never skip it. It’s during the test drive when you get to decide whether you can comfortably live with the car.
Let the salesperson know that you’d like to test the vehicle for more than just a few minutes and on different routes. This gives a better experience of how owning the vehicle will feel.
Use this opportunity also to get familiar with all the car’s knobs, buttons, and controls. Drive the car over a variety of road surfaces to see whether it’s comfortable.
4. Focusing Only on Monthly Payments
It’s easy to focus on the monthly payment when you’re using a car loan to purchase your vehicle. Car dealers know this and will use it to their advantage.
For instance, your car dealer may lower your monthly payment to lure you into purchasing a car. However, they’ll most likely increase your loan term, which costs you more in the long term due to the additional interest fees.
Another popular trick dealers use on car buyers is to lower your monthly payments while increasing your down payment. You still end up paying more.
The best way to avoid these tricks is to focus on the car’s price. Don’t allow the salesperson to steer you away from this figure. Only after you’ve settled on a price should you talk about payment terms.
5. Purchasing Unnecessary Extras
Car dealerships usually have an endless array of car accessories you can purchase along with your ride. For example, be sure which jeep wrangler accessories are beneficial and which extras you should say no to.
For instance, you don’t necessarily need windshield coatings or rustproofing when buying your car. You can purchase these things later when you decide you need them. Chances are you’ll be able to get them at a more affordable price when that time comes, provided you shop around for good deals.
6. Skipping the Car Inspection
For buyers looking for used cars, ignoring the car inspection can lead to lots of regrets down the road. Remember, a used car is usually sold as seen. Thus, it’s hardly possible to know how much value you’re getting for your cash.
Unless you are a skilled mechanic, bring a professional with you to the dealer to inspect the car before you make the purchase. Be sure to carefully go through the car’s history report as well. The last thing you want is for the car to give you problems a few months after you drive it home from the dealership.
Avoid Vehicle Shopping Mistakes to Get the Right Car
When you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars on a purchase, you want to get everything right. Part of doing so is by knowing the potential vehicle shopping mistakes you need to avoid, so you don’t regret your purchase.
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